According to the CDC, 2,000 U.S. workers experience a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment every day. One-third of these injuries need to be treated in the emergency room.
Don’t risk impairing your vision due to a job-related injury. Keep reading to learn why you need to wear eye protection during Workplace Eye Wellness Month!
How to Safeguard Your Vision
The following tips can help you choose the proper eye protection to wear in the workplace. Depending on your job duties, you may need safety glasses, goggles, face shields, or full-face respirators to ensure the health of your eyes and vision.
The eye protection you wear should be appropriate to the activities you perform and the materials yoƒcu handle. They should protect you from flying objects and particles, stand up to impact, be heat resistant, and prevent exposure to chemical hazards.
Wear These For Optimum Eye Protection
You should wear safety glasses, clear or tinted goggles, face shields, welding helmets, and full-face type respirators for the best eye protection. They all should meet the eye and face protection standards.
To be following the safety standards, the safety eyewear must have “Z87” or “Z87+” marked on the frame and the lens in some cases. While glasses protect the front of your face and eyes, don’t forget that protecting the side is also essential.
If your job exposes you to flying debris, consider wearing detachable side protectors. Clip-on or slide-on side shields are two options.
The Most Common Eye Injuries
Eye protection can prevent the three most common eye injuries. The first is striking or scraping.
The majority of eye injuries happen when small particles or objects come in contact with the eye. Dust, cement chips, wood chips, or metal slivers may be windblown, fall from above, or be ejected by tools.
The second most common eye injury is penetration. Penetration is when an object goes through the eyeball and can cause permanent vision loss.
The third most common type of eye injury in the workplace is chemical and thermal burns. Industrial chemicals or cleaning products can harm your eyes.
Many types of eye injuries in the workplace can be avoided by wearing the proper eye and face protection.
The Dangers of Eye Disease
While the above may not apply to the typical office worker, any employee can be at risk for contracting viral illnesses if not careful. Eye protection can prevent the transmission of severe health conditions.
The goal is to avoid direct exposure to the eye’s mucous membranes. Blood splashes, airborne droplets from coughing or sneezing, or touching the eyes with a contaminated finger or object can spread certain serious health conditions.
Digital eye strain from working on a computer or monitor is also a concern for many workers in office settings. If you have problems with near vision, you should have your eyes examined.
Prescription eyeglasses may reduce strain. If you need glasses and are not wearing them for the computer, you may experience eye discomfort or headaches.
Digital Eye Strain
Anyone who spends long hours on a computer can benefit from exercises to rest their eyes help keep them lubricated. To help reduce the effects of digital eye strain, employees should follow the “20-20-20” rule.
Every 20 minutes, turn away from your computer screen and look at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This vision break gives your eyes a chance to reset.
With proper eye protection and awareness of how to preserve your sight, you can reduce or prevent eye injuries. Workplace Eye Wellness Month is an excellent time to make changes to continue experiencing your best eye health and vision.
Want to learn more about how you can protect your eyes? Schedule an appointment at EyeHealth Northwest in Portland, OR today!